Thursday, September 4, 2014 Danez Smith is 2014 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship Winner

Danez Smith,

2014 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship
Winners Announced
$129,000 in prizes awarded to five young poets
CHICAGO — The Poetry Foundation and Poetry magazine are pleased to announce the five recipients of the 2014 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships: Hannah Gamble, Solmaz Sharif, Danez Smith, Ocean Vuong and Wendy Xu. Among the largest awards offered to aspiring poets in the United States, the $25,800 scholarship prize is intended to encourage the further study and writing of poetry and is open to all U.S. poets between 21 and 31 years of age.

“Each of this year’s winners is a poet whose work engages with the events that unfold before us every day,” said Don Share, editor of Poetry magazine, announcing the 2014 winners. “Their work resounds both on and off the page, and refreshes, as well as fulfills, the dictum that literature is news that stays news.”

Established in 1989 by Ruth Lilly to encourage the further writing and study of poetry, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship program has dramatically expanded since its inception. Until 1995, university writing programs nationwide each nominated one student poet for a single fellowship; from 1996 until 2007, two fellowships were awarded. In 2008 the competition was opened to all U.S. poets between 21 and 31 years of age, and the number of fellowships increased to five, totaling $75,000. In 2013, the Poetry Foundation received a generous gift from the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Memorial Fund to create the Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships, which increased the fellowship amount from $15,000 to $25,800.

“This is a phenomenal group of young poets,” said Poetry Foundation President Robert Polito. “Their aesthetics and concerns are various, but each is singularly gifted. I’m reminded of Emerson’s sparkling words to Whitman—‘I greet you at the beginning of a great career, which yet must have had a long foreground somewhere, for such a start.’”

Danez Smith is the author of [insert] Boy (YesYes Books, forthcoming) and the chapbook hands on ya knees (Penmanship Books, 2013). Smith is the recipient of fellowships from the McKnight Foundation, Cave Canem, VONA (Voices of Our Nation Arts Foundation) and elsewhere. He is a founding member of the multigenre, multicultural Dark Noise Collective. His writing has appeared in Poetry, Ploughshares, Beloit Poetry Journal, Kinfolks and elsewhere. In poetry slam, he is a 2011 Individual World Poetry Slam finalist and the reigning two-time Rustbelt Individual Champion, and was on the 2014 championship team Sad Boy Supper Club. He was the festival director for the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam in 2014. He holds a BA from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he was a First Wave Urban Arts Scholar, and was born in St. Paul, Minn.

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Thank you for posting and sending this!  Danez Smith 

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